‘Loss Sings’: Translating Grief

On the face of it, Loss Sings claims to be fifteen translations of al-Khansā, a much celebrated Arabian poet of the seventh century whose threnodic poems commemorate the loss of her two brothers in battle. Prof. James E Montgomery has translated the fifteen poems elegantly in this brief thirty-seven-page booklet. I… Read more“‘Loss Sings’: Translating Grief”

Jihad according to Abdullah Azzam

Abstract Dr. Abdullah Azzam is widely seen both by security analysts and Jihadists as the father of Global Jihad. Dr. Thomas Hegghammer for example, who is soon to publish an important biography on Abdullah Azzam argues that his ‘Palestinianess’ certainly shaped his world view and pulled him towards transnational jihadism…. Read more“Jihad according to Abdullah Azzam”

When Abdullah Azzam met Ahmed Shah Massoud

Abstract Dr. Abdullah Azzam has been seen as the father of global jihad both by analysts and indeed al-Qaeda itself. Al-Qaeda and Jihadis of all varieties claim him to be their founding father. What is interesting is that Azzam did not view those who al-Qaeda viewed as its enemies in… Read more“When Abdullah Azzam met Ahmed Shah Massoud”

The Bosnian Jihad: An interview with Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros

Abstract  Here is an interview of  Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros or Barbarossa (named after his red beard and Khayreddine, the naval commander and greek privateer of the Ottoman empire). He is also known as Abdul Rahman al-Dosari, he fought in Afghanistan in the 80s after Abdullah Azzam called for recruits… Read more“The Bosnian Jihad: An interview with Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros”

The Problem with Abu Bakr, Osama Bin Laden and Zarqawi: An explanation of Arabic names

Writing about and covering Muslim jihadi militancy for more than half a decade now, I realise that Westerners, analysts, journalists or otherwise find Arab names extremely difficult to grasp. One of the questions I have been asked countless times by the uninitiated is: why is every single Jihadi militant named… Read more“The Problem with Abu Bakr, Osama Bin Laden and Zarqawi: An explanation of Arabic names”

An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam

For the forthcoming book, To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan by Abdullah Anas and Tam Hussein, (Hurst), 2019, I thought I would add materials that are useful for those who are interested in this seminal period in the history of global jihadism. Below is an article I… Read more“An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam”

To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan

  Description The Algerian Islamist Abdullah Anas, ‘perhaps the greatest warrior of the Afghan Arabs’, fought the Soviet Union for a decade. As one of the earliest Arabs to join the Afghan jihad, he counted as brothers-in-arms the future icons of Al-Qaeda’s global war, from Abdullah Azzam to Osama bin… Read more“To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan”

Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update

Abstract: The recent arrest of Alexanda Kotey and  El Shafee Elsheikh, the two British Jihadists part of the notorious Beatles, has again raised the debate as to what should be done with Jihadists returning to Europe.  Should they be sent to Guantanamo? Should they be kept where they were caught… Read more“Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update”